Updated 06/22/2012 06:06 PM
Bacterial disease found in Onondaga County
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ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- A number of cases of gastrointestinal illness are popping up in Onondaga County.
The County Health Department says there have been 15 confirmed cases of shigellosis, along with 10 more probable cases. About half are children.
Shigellosis is a bacterial infection that causes fever, stomach cramps and painful, bloody diarrhea.
To put it in perspective, in all of last year, there were only four cases. The year before that, there were three.
The health department says they don't know the source of the bacteria yet, but they are investigating.
"This is more serious than our typical viral infections. This is a bacterial infection. And some people do require medical attention. Of the people that we know either have it or are waiting for results, we have two hospitalizations and numerous people who have had to go to the emergency room or urgent care. So this is more serious than what we're typically talking about and we want people to know that, so they don't delay care," said Onondaga County Health Commissioner Dr. Cynthia Morrow.
To prevent spreading shigellosis, follow these steps:
- Wash all fruits and vegetables and cook them to the appropriate temperatures
- Don't prepare food for others if you're sick
- Wash your hands with soap frequently and help children wash their hands as well
- Throw away used diapers properly
- Disinfect diaper-changing areas after use